Thirty Minutes

Thirty Minutes

A Story by Jackson Keller

With thirty minutes left to go, do you have any regrets?


            Thirty minutes left to go. It feels weird to write that, it’s almost surreal. I never thought about death, I preferred to focus on living. But now as I lie out on my porch and gaze into the sky, I must come to terms with the fate of the world.

            My name is Robert Miller, and I’m 50 years old as of this writing. If you’re reading this, then you must be a part of some civilization rebuilt from the ashes of my own. Maybe you’re a survivor. The news says it’s the end, but never say never. You could be one of the lucky few who survive.

            I never bought into the whole “2012” apocalypse thing. Like most others, I figured it was a bunch of nonsense like Y2K and May 21st, 2011 were. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it? Whenever I heard people talk about the end of the world, they tried to act like they didn’t care.

            “Even if it is true, there’s nothing we can do about it,” they would say. I’ve seen all of these people just an hour ago. Before they had claimed that they couldn’t care less about the end of the world, that it didn’t concern them. Now I see these people running around, looting, hiding, crying, denying. They seem to care a lot more now that the truth has actually hit them.

            I was one of those people. Throughout my life I tried not to think about death, I lived my life as best as I could, went to church on Sundays, the whole shebang. But now I’m wondering if it wasn’t good enough.

            I had a daughter named Ellen. She was such a beautiful girl, but I haven’t seen her in years. Our relationship was always tense. I couldn’t tell you why, but she always seemed to be mad at me.          

            Twenty minutes left to go. When I was just a boy, I always loved looking at the stars. They comforted me, gave me hope. I always wanted to be an astronaut, to go into space. I thought that I could live on Mars back then. I spent all of my educational life desperately trying to get a degree that would take me to NASA and eventually the stars.

            I don’t exactly know what happened. I don’t know when that dream died. College was when I met the wife, and then Ellie came, then we got married, then I had to get a job to support us, then I had to drop out of school. One thing just lead to another, and 30 years later I’m still working in retail, barely scraping by.

            Fifteen minutes left to go. How ironic, I always wanted to go to the stars, and now the stars are coming to me. I always wondered if she was worth it, if it was worth throwing everything away. I guess I could’ve run, but I loved Michelle too much.

            I still love her. At least I’ll be joining her soon.

            Michelle, my wife, died in a car accident back when Ellie was only a little kid. I was driving the car at the time. It wasn’t really anybody’s fault. At least, I don’t think it is. It was just one of those unfortunate coincidences, you know? I still get the feeling Ellie blames me for it. I was driving the car at the time, but I was being careful. I mean it was icy that day, and the road was busy. It could’ve happened to anyone.

            Ten minutes left to go. I wanna talk to Ellie one last time. I thought I’d have more time; I thought that I could just find out her phone number from the internet or something and give her a call. Tell her how much I loved her. Now my time is nearly up, and I haven’t talked to her in five years. Maybe I can give her a call, maybe the internet still hasn’t gone down yet. I could go run and check, it probably wouldn’t take me long to find her. Hell, she probably has her number on Facebook or something. The thing is I’m afraid to call her, afraid that her last words to me will be full of hate or scorn, that she won’t understand how I’ve been suffering. On the other hand, if I don’t call, I’m equally afraid I won’t get to talk to her in heaven. She wasn’t a bad person or anything, but Jesus was always one of the big points of contention with us. She always thought that a belief in God was silly. Maybe she’s seen the light in these five years.

            Five minutes left to go. It’s impossible to believe. This is what being on your deathbed feels like. Funny, I feel lucky in a way. That I get to go out looking at the stars, outside, the place I’ve always loved. It makes me feel alive in my final hour.

            Four minutes left to go. Now I’m starting to panic, I don’t know what to write, what people after me will want to see.

            Three minutes left to go.

            Two minutes left to go.

            One minute left to go. So this is it, I can see them now, they’re coming. They’ll be here any minute, right on schedule. Just like the news said. I guess I’ll use my final words to talk to Ellie, she might be out there, still alive. Maybe the shelters will work.

            Ellie, wherever you are, always remember this.

            No matter what happened between us, your Daddy will alwa

© 2011 Jackson Keller

Author's Note

Jackson Keller
This was a little writing experiment I did. I set myself a timer for thirty minutes and tried to write in the time constraint, much like Robert has to do in the story. Tell me what you think!

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I think you did a great job for writing in thirty minutes, sometimes it take an hour for me to come up with something worth posting, nicely done.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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Added on May 20, 2011
Last Updated on May 20, 2011
Tags: thirty minutes, 30, end of the world, armageddon, apocalypse, father, daughter


Jackson Keller
Jackson Keller


Just an amateur writer hoping to get noticed by someone. more..

Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Jackson Keller

Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Jackson Keller

Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by Jackson Keller